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Avalanche claim Game 1 over Blues in OT thriller

Defenseman Josh Manson scored the game-winning goal in overtime to lift Colorado to victory in the second-round series opener.

DENVER — Talk about a change of pace.

After steamrolling past the Nashville Predators in the opening round of the NHL playoffs, the Colorado Avalanche were met with a tougher opponent Tuesday night. The St. Louis Blues took the ice at Ball Arena for Game 1 of their second-round series and made an early statement.

St. Louis scored first with a goal from Ryan O'Reilly and forced overtime with another from Jordan Kyrou late -- but Colorado responded to both strikes and pulled out a 3-2 victory in overtime to claim the series opener.

Defenseman Josh Manson scored the game-winning goal 8 minutes into overtime that sent the hometown crowd into a frenzy. It was the first playoff goal of his career.

"It was a lot of fun, a lot of excitement. It feels good to get that with your team," Manson said. "That's the best part about playoffs -- it's a team effort, and you get to win with your team."

Credit: AP
Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) and Nazem Kadri (91) celebrate an overtime goal by Josh Manson (42) against St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (50) in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Denver. The Avalanche won 3-2. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

After going into the first intermission down 1-0, the Avalanche responded with a dominant second period that was highlighted by goals from Valeri Nichushkin and Sam Girard.

Girard's goal had Colorado ahead until the Blues found an equalizer with just more than 3 minutes left in regulation to force overtime.

Colorado also overcame the frustration of pucks hitting the opposing goal and bouncing away on five separate occasions. The Avalanche finished out-shooting the Blues 54-25 by the end of the game.

"Reality is, sometimes you're going to play really well and you feel like you deserve to win and you don't. But tonight we were a real resilient group in there," captain Gabriel Landeskog said. "It's just a matter of time." 

Game 2 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (MT) at Ball Arena.

Credit: AP
Colorado Avalanche defenseman Josh Manson (42) is congratulated by Samuel Girard (49), Artturi Lehkonen (62) and Gabriel Landeskog (92) after scoring in overtime against the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Denver. The Avalanche won 3-2. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

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